Limed: Teaching with a Twist
Season 2, Episode 8

In this episode, we finish our conversation about designing a capstone course for a new Global Film and Cultures minor at Elon University. Student panelists from Elon University, Gianna Smurro and Mia Kass, share their viewpoints on interdisciplinary work and culminating experiences. Echoing some of the points from last month’s episode with faculty panelists, Gianna and Mia offer separate ideas of how to make sure students feel supported by both the professors and their classmates. Guests Lina Kuhn and Kai Swanson return to hear what the students think.

View a transcript of this episode.

This episode was hosted, produced, and edited by Matt Wittstein in collaboration with Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning.

About the Guests

Headshot of Lina Kuhn

Lina Kuhn is a Lecturer in English at Elon University. Dr. Kuhn teaches first-year writing, horror film and literature, science fiction, and German language courses. Her students refer to her as a sci-fi nerd in evaluations, a title she bears proudly, and an occupational hazard of her professional interest in the intersection of science with the humanities. This past year, Dr. Kuhn has been working on co-creating the Global Film and Cultures minor, now up and running, and looks forward to teaching the first introductory class in Fall 2024. She has also been teaching a new class on vampires and is collaborating with librarians and other English faculty on a diversity and inclusion grant through Elon University’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL). In her spare time, Dr. Kuhn enjoys hikes with her dog, reading, and watching movies of all kinds. 

Headshot of Kai Swanson

Kai Swanson (they/she) is an independent filmmaker and producer who has made a significant mark on the international film circuit, with screenings at prestigious festivals such as the Oscar® qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival, Buenos Aires International Film Festival, and the Newport Beach Film Festival. Their comedic series #millcore is distributed on Amazon Prime, while the feature film East of Middle West, which Kai produced, is available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime.  

Kai’s prowess as a producer has been recognized with numerous accolades, including the Best American Indie at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Sarasota Film Festival, and Best Producer at the Montreal Independent Film Festival. Their work is characterized by a unique blend of formal experimentation and playful narrative strategies that challenge traditional narratives around gender and history, seeking to forge new connections with concepts of historicity, time, and cultural representation. 

Kai is a proud member of the Television Academy and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. Their upcoming publication, Behind the Laughter: The Mechanics of American Comedy’s History, Writing, and Production, is set to be released by Kendall Hunt Publishing in April 2025.

About the Panel

Headshot of Mia Kass

Mia Kass is an International Global Studies major with minors in Spanish and Computer Science. This is her first year at Elon, after transferring from National Chengchi University in Taipei. She is passionate about travel, film, and exploring other cultures.

Headshot of Gianna Smurro

Gianna Smurro is a third -year student at Elon University studying Journalism and Cinema & TV Arts with a minor in Political Science. As a CEL Student Scholar, she is providing a student perspective on a three-year research seminar on Work-Integrated Learning. She is also a Communications Fellow at Elon and a communications and editorial intern for Bringing Theory to Practice.

Resources Related to this Episode

Center Resources Related to this Episode

Capstone Experiences

Definition Capstone experiences aim to facilitate students’ sense-making of their growth and development across their major or general educational studies and have been a hallmark of undergraduate education in one form or another for at least as long as higher education has…

Elon Statement on Capstone Experiences

Download a printer-friendly (PDF) copy of the Elon Statement on Capstone Experiences by Caroline J. Ketcham, Anthony G. Weaver, Jillian Kinzie, and Jessie L. Moore From 2018 to 2020, twenty-two scholars participated in the Center for Engaged Learning research seminar…

Book cover of Cultivating Capstones: Designing High-Quality Culminating Experiences for Student Learning, edited by Caroline J. Ketcham, Anthony G. Weaver, and Jessie L. Moore

Cultivating Capstones

book cover for The Power of Partnership

The Power of Partnership

book cover for Pedagogical Partnerships

Pedagogical Partnerships

Film Recommendations by Guests Kai Swanson and Lina Kuhn, respectively

Glazer, J, dir. 2023. The Zone of Interest. Poland: Gutek Film.  

Murnau, F. W. 1922. Nosferatu. Germany: Prana Film Company.

Film Recommendations by Panelists Mia Kass and Gianna Smurro, respectively

Berger, Edward, dir. 2022. All Quiet on the Western Front. United States: Netflix Studios.

Bong, Joon-ho, dir. 2019. Parasite. South Korea: CJ Entertainment.

Additional Resources

Global Film and Cultures Minor FAQ Flyer

Global Film and Cultures Minor webpage: